I’ve never considered LinkedIn to be within the wide spectrum of social media. It has a visible sense of purpose and credibility that other forms of social media, like Facebook and Instagram, lack.
However, as a means for people to publicly interact, LinkedIn works using the same format as these other outlets by allowing users to follow/friend/connect with other users—unless their profile is private . . . which means they probably won’t accept your request unless they know you or happen to like your profile picture.
Unlike my Facebook and Instagram accounts, I don’t check or update my LinkedIn profile on a daily, sometimes even weekly, basis. This is likely true for most users of LinkedIn, because, unlike Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn does not provide any entertainment value or specific need for daily checks unless average users—with the exception of those who work in marketing or are heavily invested in widening their career networks—are actively searching for a job.
According to a recent article from TechCrunch, “LinkedIn needs a hook that would make it more of a daily or at least a weekly destination for end users, rather than a place you go to update your résumé when looking for work.”
LinkedIn may have found that hook.
Starting with 25,000 English–speaking members, LinkedIn is allowing users to post content on their Pulse platform—which was formerly reserved for articles by high–profile entrepreneurs and business owners like Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson (dubbed “Influencers” by LinkedIn). Pulse, a refreshed version of LinkedIn Today, contains LinkedIn Channels. These “channels” are part of a subset of Pulse and contain topics from accounting to business travel to food and beverages. You can also select the Influencers you would like to follow.
Pulse posts now appear on the homepage of every LinkedIn profile. The goal of these posts is to allow LinkedIn members to demonstrate their skills, impart insider knowledge and share current employee trends. Eventually, LinkedIn plans to open this feature to give every LinkedIn member the opportunity to post content.
Viewership extends to everyone within your network as well as those outside of your network, so you can build your own following based on the type of content you post. This new feature capitalizes on the notion that every working professional has something important and relevant to say that can benefit future employees—as well as better those already working—by providing fresh and unique insight.
However, this doesn’t mean that everyone on LinkedIn will see your posts. “The content will be distributed to each individual’s network, appearing in the person’s news feed, and it could be featured in LinkedIn channels if the content meets certain standards of the algorithm,” writes John Hall for Influence & Co.
But what are the standards of the algorithm that make a post more likely to pop up in Pulse over another?
It’s actually pretty simple: LinkedIn uses the information presented in your profile to determine what posts would be of the most interest to you. If you work or are interested in education, LinkedIn will recognize that and use the algorithm to connect posts about education to your Pulse feed.
Overall, I think this venture of creating a more interactive service will be great for LinkedIn. Whether it will provide continuous, new knowledge to users is yet to be determined, but I think as it gains momentum, users will become more vocal about their likes and dislikes. As the TechCrunch article notes, “LinkedIn may be looking to deliver more personalized insights and increase user engagement, but the actual end result—given broad enough adoption of the pro[fessional] blogging feature—will likely be better hiring decisions as companies get to know the person behind the résumé.”
Did You Know?
While the popularity of LinkedIn is undeniable, there are countless other sites that are competing for the title of “World’s Largest Professional Network.” One of them is BranchOut, a site that allows Facebook users to search for connections using their pre–existing social network on Facebook.
BranchOut helps companies post job listings on their Facebook pages, thus allowing job seekers to apply for the job—once the job seeker is a BranchOut user. Additionally, the application offers a premium service called Recruiter Connect that allows recruiters and hiring managers to access Facebook’s databases for potential employees.